Over the weekend, this fake sign made its way around the Twitterverse. It's an old online hoax that has found new legs as it gets passed around with the hashtag #seriouslymcdonalds. Chalk up another PR foible for the fast-food empire.
Claiming that McDonald's is charging African-American customers an extra $1.50 as an "insurance measure due in part to a recent string of robberies," the image first appeared on the Internet's notorious 4chan bulletin board last June. But for reasons unknown, the pic appears to be stirring controversy once again.
On Saturday, McDonald's responded with this Twitter message, "That pic is a senseless & ignorant hoax McD's values ALL our customers. Diversity runs deep in our culture on both sides of the counter."
And today, the fast-food chain reiterated on Twitter, "That Seriously McDonalds picture is a hoax."
Savvier social media users have helped to clear up any lingering doubts about the pic's veracity by pointing out that the toll-free number listed on the bottom of the sign actually belongs to KFC.
But this can't bode well for McDonald's. The company has already endured a few major PR nightmares recently. An ad campaign demanding the resignation of Ronald McDonald, the fast-food chain's clown mascot, apppeared in newspapers across the country last month.
And in April, on the day when McDonald's was touting the hiring of 50,000 new employees, a brawl broke out in a parking lot of a Cleveland, Ohio, restaurant. A manager and one other adult were injured when two women got into a fight in a car, which they then accidentally put in reverse and backed into a crowd, according to news reports.
Now this hoax has the burger empire scrambling to do some serious damage control.
Let us know what you think about his sign in the comments below.